Otakon 2010

1 Sep

Hello everyone! Hope you enjoy my first post.

For those of you who don’t know (I know that there were a few posts from Otakon 2009 however it didn’t really explain it), Otakon is a yearly convention that takes place in Baltimore, Maryland around the end of July to the beginning of August that is held over three days (this year’s was held from Friday, July 30-Sunday, August 1). Otakon is also the largest convention on the East coast (I am not entirely sure if this number is accurate but I remember reading that Otakon 2010 had something like 25,000 people attending).

There are a plethora of activities for all groups of people:

  • There are cosplayers for all different series whether it be from Animes, Mangas, Video Games, Movies, TV, comics, etc. There are also many, many photo shoots for a large number of series (some series have multiple photo shoots over the three days). There are some great spots for good photos: an indoor fountain, an outdoor fountain, an outdoor terrace, a nearby bay (I don’t actually know if people took pics there). I believe there are also competitions for the best cosplays.
  • For those of you who enjoy art and/or merchandise from your favorite series there are two areas in the con called the dealer’s room and artist alley where you can purchase art (artist alley); clothes, accessories, fake weapons, video games, anime, manga, doujinshi (dealers room).
  • There is a HUGE room dedicated to video games. The appropriately named Game Room has games of every genre, for many systems and even ran tournaments for some games. Many popular games were Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Street Fighter (I believe there were a few different versions of the series), Soul Calibur, Tekken, shooting games, DDR and there were tables set up where people would congregate to play Trading Cards Games like Magic: The Gather and Yu-Gi-Oh.
  • There are a large number of auditoriums that were used for panels; screenings and other special events (at night some of these are 18+ and require you to prove your age and get a special wristband.)
  • There appears to be some sort of night life in the area during Otakon (I do not know anything at all about this; only hearsay from a friend).
  • There are many guests that show up (generally they will probably be a part of panels).
  • There is a special event called the Masquerade. It is a competition where your average John and Jane Does can enroll and enter and perform a cosplay skit. Each skit is a hit/miss reaction and while I enjoyed a majority of it however some of my friends did not. One issue with this Masquerade (as opposed to those at other cons; such as the one at New York Anime Festival) is that they do not screen the entries so even the horrible ones (and there were some abysmal ones) make it in.

Everyone who went in our group had a different experience (even though some of it might overlap). I can only speak of my experience (if anyone who attended would like to share your experience please feel free to share in the comments.) Bear in mind this was my first con (and my first cosplay as well), but I can definitely say it was one of the best times of my life (barring one or two things) and as soon as I got back I decided to attend next year’s Otakon. My experience was filled with walking around a LOT (expect to get some blisters); cosplaying (I attended all three days of Otakon as Phoenix Wright of the Ace Attorney series) which includes both photo shoots and people asking me to pose for pictures (many more people asked than what I expected; and taking photos (the vast majority of which was from the Phoenix Wright photo shoots and the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure photo shoot.)

There was one main issue with my Otakon experience

  • On the second day (Saturday, July 31) at approximately 2:00 P.M. I (along with the many other Phoenix Wright cosplayers) were beginning the second photo shoot (we got a group shot in) when the fire alarm rang and we were instructed to evacuate the building. They evacuated the entire building of all attendants, guests and merchants while the fire marshal was called to make sure everything was safe. And it was. Someone had pulled the fire alarm as a prank (not funny in the least if you ask me). So the streets of Baltimore were flooded with Otaku, even slowing down traffic. The crowds were so thick you couldn’t even walk on the sidewalk. Absolutely horrible. Many people were out for blood (I wouldn’t want to have been the ass who pulled the alarm).

Here are us as a group.

This should be an adequate description of Otakon. I hope I didn’t miss much. Until next time (which should be very soon).


Seth Tobias Zeltzer

Club Secretary


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